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Russian negotiator says it’s too early for Putin-Zelensky meeting

In this photo released by Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Russian Presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, left, and the head of the Ukrainian Servant of the People faction Davyd Arakhamia pose for media during talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul, on March 29, 2022. (Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)
In this photo released by Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Russian Presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, left, and the head of the Ukrainian Servant of the People faction Davyd Arakhamia pose for media during talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul, on March 29, 2022. (Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)

Russia’s lead negotiator in peace talks with Ukraine says it is too early for a top-level meeting on ending the conflict.

“The Ukrainian side has become more realistic in its approach to issues related to the neutral and non-nuclear status of Ukraine but the draft agreement is not ready for submission to a summit meeting,” Vladimir Medinsky writes on Telegram.

He says he does not share the “optimism” of Ukraine’s negotiators on the possibility of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Ukraine’s top negotiator David Arakhamia said yesterday that Moscow had “verbally” agreed to key Ukrainian proposals, raising hopes that talks to end fighting were moving forward.

He raised the possibility of a meeting between Putin and Zelensky in Turkey, without saying when it might be possible.

Medinsky says that Russia’s position on Crimea and the Donbas “remains unchanged” and that talks are slated to resume by video conference tomorrow.

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